A group of passionate Boosters volunteered yesterday at San Francisco’s GLIDE, a comprehensive provider of innovative programs and services for the poor and marginalized. We sat down with Chartboost Volunteer Club lead Remi Spector to chat about Chartboost’s initiative to become more involved with the local community, and her personal experience.
What does the Chartboost Volunteer Club do, and how do you choose what organizations to volunteer for?
Remi Spector: The Volunteer Club dedicates three or four hours a month to supporting nonprofit organizations that are important to members of the Chartboost team. I asked members to submit organizations they already work with or donate to as a first step in deciding who to volunteer with. It’s also important to me that we support organizations right in our neighborhood. Since moving to our new San Francisco office on the border of Union Square and the Tenderloin, we’ve discovered a new community that’s really different from SoMa. This neighborhood has a lot of individuals who need extra support, and fortunately, there are a lot of community resources who can use our help. Most recently we’ve volunteered with GLIDE–a resource center just around the corner from us.
One theme was made apparent after the conclusion of the Tokyo Game Show—mobile gaming continued to flex its muscles as the dominant platform for games in Japan. In total, TGS exhibitors showed off 310 traditional console and handheld games, but a whopping 505 iOS and Android games. Now here at Chartboost, we’ve seen firsthand the swift growth of Japan on our revenue platform.
Back in February 2014, we joined forces with Distimo (acquired by App Annie earlier this year) for a partnered report. In an analysis of average revenue per download (ARPD) among apps in the Games category vs. average CPI in the Chartboost Game Network, by country, Japan displayed the strongest revenue potential globally. Japan owned the highest ARPD worldwide, which was also coupled with an average CPI that was less than a third of the ARPD. The analysis told us two things—the strong profitability and revenue potential for mobile games in Japan.
It goes without saying that Japan is on the short list of countries that developers want to target in the Chartboost Game Network. So for this month’s Top Creatives report, we placed a spotlight on Japan. From our analysis of the top performing creatives in Japan in August 2014, we identified three common themes–localization, creatives for Japanese games performing well locally, and creatives for Western games making an impact internationally.
Localize Creatives for Maximum Effectiveness
Localizing your creatives can pay dividends.
Apple’s latest mobile operating system iOS 8 fell from the tree on September 17, landing in the hands of iOS users worldwide. To get a sense of which countries adopted iOS 8 the most, we collected iOS 8 adoption data from global traffic in the Chartboost Game Network from September 17 to 18. We then identified the top 10 countries that experienced the highest iOS 8 adoption rate (below), with the US, South Korea and Russia leading the way.
In its first 24 hours of release, iOS 8 was adopted the most by iOS gamers in the US. It’s not surprising that the US claimed the top spot, but the trend does emphasize the importance of making sure your game is iOS 8 compatible as soon as possible in one of the most lucrative mobile gaming markets.
Chartboost’s co-founders Maria Alegre (CEO) and Sean Fannan (CTO) were selected as the most recent inductees for Pocket Gamer’s Hall of Fame. It’s flattering to be named into such an amazing lineup of game industry thought leaders such as Pocket Gems’ Ben Liu, Kabam’s Kevin Chou and NimbleBit’s David and Ian Marsh–we consider this a great acknowledgement.
We couldn’t accept this recognition without acknowledging and thanking you, our partners. We simply just wouldn’t have been able to build one of the best communities of game developers without you.
Maria and Sean may have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but by no means are we going to rest on our laurels. We’re on a mission to continue improving on the largest revenue platform for mobile games. With the recent release of Chartboost Video, the only video made exclusively for game developers, we’re determined to empower game developers around the world to reach their full potential.
Mech Mocha Game Studios is an independent game development studio based in India. Founded by Mohit Rangaraju (Chief Mech) and Arpita Kapoor (Chief Mocha), Mech Mocha was part of iAccelerator 2013 batch and operates from an awesome co-working space at CIIE, IIM A. They are also proud alums of Chartboost University. Mech Mocha believes in teaming up with talented and passionate programmers, artists, animators and musicians to create high-end quality games that would leave a feeling of satisfaction in every players’ mind. They’re currently working on their first iOS title Puppet Punch.
As I write this, Mech Mocha is submitting Puppet Punch to the App Store. It’s a long-awaited day for our team and we’re ecstatic about it. Since this project began, we went through numerous changes and iterations. Nearly six months ago, we thought we were ready for release, but then we were selected to attend Chartboost University (CBU) — it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.
CBU is a two-week-long mentorship program for mobile game startups where industry experts from different specialties such as design, production, technology, audio, and monetization dig into your product and provide feedback. As a bonus, the IGDA gave us passes to attend GDC 2014.
Our time at CBU helped us improve our game immensely. The combined feedback from mentors and fellow developers at CBU, GDC attendees, and press at Pocket Gamer Big Indie Pitch was amazing. While the base gameplay and design of Puppet Punch wasn’t changed after CBU, there’ve been significant changes to the game’s backend, progression, core loop and monetization.
Before we count down the last few days of summer, we looked back on August CPI data. Last year we saw a decrease in CPIs from July 2013 to August 2013, but that wasn’t the case this year. Despite students going back to school, it seems like advertisers didn’t think user LTVs would go down too much to warrant lowering their advertising bids. Average bids on iOS were up 13.8%, down -0.8% on Google Play, and up 1.5% on Amazon.
Soon, iPhone and iPad users worldwide will benefit from iOS 8′s major enhancements. Unfortunately, a handful of older iOS devices won’t be compatible because of significant changes to its operating system. The name of the game is compatibility, which is why to avoid interruptions to Chartboost’s monetization services, you need to update to our latest SDK 5.0, right HERE
But there’s more. For those of you who have been waiting for the public release of Chartboost Video it’s here — and only with SDK 5.0. Remember, it’s the only video made exclusively for game developers, and in closed beta we’ve received some pretty amazing feedback:
“We are big fans of Chartboost. Their new rewarded video feature was easy to integrate and provided another great revenue channel. We increased user engagement and experienced almost no IAP cannibalization.”
– Critical Hit Software
“Being able to test the new video functionality from Chartboost, firsthand, was very exciting. We can't wait to see how it performs now that it's widely available. Our experience so far has been outstanding.”
- Tapps Games
This SDK 5.0 (iOS, Android, Unity) update includes:
- iOS 8 compatibility
- Chartboost Video – interstitial and rewarded
- Easier integration & improved APIs – more impressions and increased monetization
For more info, you can visit our trusty Help Site: SDK 5.0 and migration docs, Video, or shoot us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We always like to hear from you. #WeHeartDevs
We’re catching up with Olaf Morelewski, a Chartboost University 2013 (CBU) alum and the founder of made it app. He’s just released the game that he’s been working after his experience at CBU.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Olaf. What can you tell us about made it app?
My pleasure! Made it app is a one-man-shop indie game boutique that I run by myself in Warsaw, Poland. Previously I was working in the advertising industry but decided to quit my Art Director day job and focus on making mobile games. I also wanted to learn some basic programming so now I’m doing pretty much everything – from designing gameplay, drawing game art, to coding and recording sound effects. I know it’s pretty diverse stuff and I realize that nobody can master all fields at once, but I really enjoy doing all these things together and believe that my games are not only quality but fun to play as well.
We’re catching up with Matt Fossati, a Chartboost University 2014 (CBU) alum and the COO and co-founder of Game Masons, LLC. It’s been a few months since his time at Chartboost University and we want to see how the lessons from CBU have applied to their current stable of games.
Tell us about Game Masons
Matt: Game Masons is a small indie studio in Santa Barbara, CA. We started out making utility apps and then found Unity3D. Both founders are gamers, one on the video game side, and the other strategy games side (poker, backgammon, and billiards). We try to make challenging games that are easy to learn and can be played for a good amount of time without getting stale. We were also one of the first studios to offer real money wager on both Android and iOS.
“Quality trumps everything”
How did attending CBU change your work going forward?
Matt: It solidified what we always thought: quality trumps everything. Making a game fun, having a challenging game loop, in addition to high quality graphics and game play is the only way to grow a gaming company. Continue reading
Christine Lee, Director of Business for Chartboost spoke last month in a panel at Casual Connect about the “Achilles Heel” of mobile: Discovery & Monetization. On the topic of how advertising has evolved with mobile, she had the following to share:
“If you really look at the evolution, a lot of people still say mobile is newish or developing,” she said. “But if you think about it, five years ago: banners, that was it. And then eventually interstitials. And then videos, video interstitials, and now rewarded interstitials. Offerwalls, animated, in-play – there is so much going on with ads, and its interesting.”
See her original quote, and more at gamesauce.